Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chicken Pad Thai

It's been too long since I made an ethnic dish, so I decided to whip up a favorite of mine that I'd never tried to make before, Pad Thai. I don't have a Thai cookbook so my recipe isn't the most authentic, but it's a good place to start. It also gave me an excuse to get out my wok, which I haven't had a chance to use in a while.

If you don't like spicy food, you'll want to cut back on the chile sauce. To me, this dish is a good level of spicy, but not enough to overpower the whole dish. I am a big fan of spicy food and it might be a bit too much for those who prefer things mild.

Chicken Pad Thai
from The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

8 ounces rice noodles (Vietnamese bahn pho or Thai sen-mee)
1/4 c. salted peanuts, finely chopped
1/2 t. grated lime peel
3 T. fish sauce
2 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. packed brown sugar
4 1/2 t. rice vinegar
1 T. Asian chile sauce with garlic (I used Sriracha)
3 T. cooking oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size strips
1 T. finely chopped garlic
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c. fresh bean sprouts
1/3 c. sliced green onion (3)
2 T. fresh snipped cilantro

1. Place noodles in a large bowl. Add enough hot water to cover them; let stand for 10 to 15 minutes or until the noodles are pliable but not soft. Drain well in a colander. (The noodles will seem too firm after soaking but will be perfect after stir-frying)

2. Meanwhile, for peanut topping, combine peanuts and lime peel; set aside.
3. In a small bowl combine fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and chile sauce; stir until smooth. Set aside.

4. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook and stir about 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl.
5. Add egg to the hot skillet and cook for 30 seconds. Turn egg with spatula and cook for 30 to 60 seconds more, just until set. Remove egg from skillet; chop egg and set aside.

6. In same skillet heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over high heat for 30 seconds. Add drained noodles and sprouts; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add fish sauce mixture and chicken; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through. Divide noodle mixture among four plates. Sprinkle each serving with egg, peanut topping, green onion, and cilantro.

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